Kouilou is a region located in the Republic of the Congo, specifically in the southwestern part of the country. It is named after the Kouilou River, which runs through the region. Kouilou is known for its rich natural resources, including oil, timber, and minerals.
The region has diverse ecosystems, featuring coastal areas, mangroves, and forests. It is also home to several ethnic groups, including the Bakongo people. The city of Pointe-Noire, a major port and economic hub, is located in the Kouilou region.
Kouilou coffee is one of the main varieties of Coffea canephora or café Robusta species of coffee. Trees of the Kouilou like the Robusta variety have several main stems.
This subtype of robusta called “kouillou” (later renamed “conilon” via linguistic distortion when it was introduced to Brazil) was observed in the wild by the French in 1880 between Gabon and the mouth of the Congo River, mainly along the Kouilou-Nari River region in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
When written down, the “Kouilou” was misspelt, and became “Konilon”, later becoming “conilon”.
Conilon plants do have a genetic origin that differs from “typical” robusta plants, but are still the same species and possess many of the same traits. There are however slight differences between the conilon “line” and others.
For example, conilon plants do not grow as tall, and have a larger canopy than typical robustas. They also mature more early, have smaller leaves, and are often more resistant to drought.